Web Resources of the Month - 2012

Each month, the librarians of the Law Library will be highlighting a particular Web site or resource that we think might be of interest in an e-mail to the faculty. We are repeating the information here as a “running archive” of this information. The list below lists the non-academic sites.

DRAGNET: Search of free legal databases
via http://www.nyls.edu/library/research_tools_and_sources/dragnet/
DRAGNET stands for “Database Retrieval Access using Google’s New Electronic Technology” and is a specialized search engine that was developed by librarians at New York Law School. This database uses Google Custom Search to access materials from 100 recommended legal websites chosen for their reliability to legal researchers. It can return up to 100 results on any legal topic in less than one second. [January 2012]
Bills to Be Considered on the House Floor
via http://docs.house.gov/
Bills to Be Considered on the House Floor is a digital repository from the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. It provides access to any measures which may be considered on the floor in the coming week, including bills, resolutions and amendments. The repository, launched January 13, 2012, in time for the 2nd session of the 112th Congress, is intended to expand upon and replace the legislative announcements made on the House Rules Committee’s website, http://www.rules.house.gov/ [February 2012]
Open CRS
via http://opencrs.com/
Open CRS provides citizens access to CRS Reports that are already in the public domain. CRS Reports do not become public until a member of Congress releases the report. A number of libraries and not-for-profit organizations have sought to collect as many of the released reports as possible. Open CRS is a centralized utility with a simple search functionality that brings together these released reports. [March 2012]
Mobile Applications for Law Students and Lawyers
via http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/mobilelegalapps
For those of you with smartphones and tablets, this is the best list for law-related apps. It includes not only apps for legal research such as the WestlawNext, Lexis Advance and HeinOnline apps, but apps for productivity and a few suggestions “for fun,” such as SoundHound — a music recognition app to discover what’s playing. [April 2012]
State Attorney General Reports and Opinions
via wss http://0-www.heinonline.org.libweb.hofstra.edu/HOL/Index?collection=sag&set_as_cursor=clear
Attorney General Reports and Opinions constitute, for each state, an integral element in its framework of governing law, and have the characteristics of both primary and secondary authority. This collection includes access to the State Attorney General Reports and Opinions for all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It also includes access to the Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel of the United States Department of Justice and the Official Opinions of the Attorneys General of the United States. [May 2012]
SEC Historical: Virtual Museum and Archive of the History of Financial Regulation
via http://www.sechistorical.org/
This site, maintained by the SEC Historical Society, an independent nonprofit organization, is a goldmine of all types of documents and media related to the history of financial regulation. An entirely virtual repository, it provides access to original materials not available elsewhere online. A wonderful source for both faculty and student legal and historical research, it provides quick digital access to hard-to-find papers, oral histories, famous case and legislative history documents, radio and TV interviews, and “galleries,” topical collections of documents drawn from the entire museum. [July 2012]
View HeinOnline’s New Library “The Pentagon Papers”
via http://0-www.heinonline.org.libweb.hofstra.edu/HOL/Index?collection=pentagon
Contains many PDFs of declassified top-secret documents. “Officially titled ‘United States — Vietnam Relations 1945-1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense,’ [t]hese “Pentagon Papers” are a United States Department of Defense history of the United States’ political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967.” Hein also provides a link to information and resources about the Pentagon Papers at the National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/research/pentagon-papers/. [July 2012]
Current Awareness/Alerts
via https://scout.sunlightfoundation.com/
Monitor federal and state legislation and federal regulations with a new alert service from the Sunlight Foundation called Scout. To get alerts, search for a keyword or phrase describing the issue in which you are interested and then click “Create Alert.” Free registration is required. [August 2012]
Court Statistics Project
via www.courtstatistics.org
As described on the Bureau of Justice Statistics website: “The Court Statistics Project (CSP) provides a systematic means to develop a valid, uniform, and complete statistical database that details the operation of state court systems. It provides high-quality, baseline information on state court structure, jurisdiction, reporting practices, and caseload volume and trends. Information for the CSP’s national caseload databases comes from published and unpublished sources supplied by state court administrators and appellate court clerks.” [September 2012]
HeinOnline U.S. Federal Agency Document, Decisions and Appeals
via http://0-www.heinonline.org.libweb.hofstra.edu/HOL/Welcome
A complete collection of the reported opinions of some of the United States’ most important government institutions plus more than 75 of the GPO’s best-selling legal titles. Notable titles include: Decisions of the NLRB (1934-current); IRS Cumulative Bulletin (1919-current); Securities & Exchange Commission: Decisions & Reports. An example of a best-selling legal title is the “9/11 Commission Report including Executive Summary.” The database is searchable and the documents are PDF. [November 2012]
Federal Register 2.0
via https://www.federalregister.gov/
The Office of the Federal Register posts an unofficial Web journal-based edition of the Federal Register which is designed to effectively and easily convey regulatory information. It provides access to sections dating back to 1994 with links to primary legal information as well as public inspection documents. The key features of this site include topical searching, browsing by agency or topic index, ability to set up RSS feeds by search term/section or agency, and more. [December 2012]

Watchthatpage is a free current awareness tool that enables users to automatically collect new information from your favorite pages on the Internet. Once the user selects which pages to monitor, the site will find changed pages and collect all the new content at a schedule specified by the user. The new information is sent to the user via email and/or a personal Web page. [January 2012]
This is a Google Chrome extension that lets you save a webpage for reading later. This read-it later service allows you to mark a specific line within the Web page so that you know where you left off reading that lengthy article when you return to it. [February 2012]
NYC Severe Weather
NYC Severe Weather is a site for New York City-area residents to gather and share information about how severe weather emergencies are affecting New York City and its environs. We have been spared such weather for most of this winter, but it never hurts to be prepared! [March 2012]

Life Hacker is a blog that will give you tips on all aspects of life, ranging from gardening to finance to technology. For some inexplicable reason, the search is difficult to find (a very small magnifier icon at top). So, as a bonus tip, try Google’s site search — site:lifehacker.com — then add your terms. So you might try “site:lifehacker.com fix leaks”. This tip works for any website. [April 2012]
NYC Department of Records — Municipal Archives Online Gallery
This ever-expanding gallery is your entry point into the vast visual holdings of the Archives. The Online Gallery provides free and open research access to over 800,000 items digitized from the Municipal Archives’ collections, including photographs, maps, motion pictures and audio recordings. The holdings are arranged by collection; or you may search “All Collections” by keyword or any of the advanced search criteria. Patrons may order prints or digital files, and license images or film clips for commercial use. [May 2012]
Mapping the 2010 U.S. Census
While this interactive site has obvious educational and research uses, it’s also just great fun to explore. A project of The New York Times using population data from the last U.S. Census, it lets you zoom in on your state, county, zip code, or any other region of interest, and find color-coded maps with instant information on population growth and change, ethnic and racial diversity, and, by using the “View More Maps” menu, population density, vacancy and household occupancy. [July 2012]
Viddy — “a video-sharing app for iPads, iPhones and Android phones — allows users to post videos of 15 seconds or less. The app has come to be known as ‘Instagram for videos’ because of its ability to easily edit footage shot on smartphones with special effects, color filters and music soundtracks. The app has simplified the process of sharing clips on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and blogs, and it gives users the option to send them via email, SMS or only post them to a personal account page at Viddy’s site.” (from http://mashable.com/follow/topics/viddy/) You can get help getting started with Viddy here: http://mashable.com/2012/05/10/how-to-viddy/ & For 9 Essential Viddy Tips and Tricks start here: http://mashable.com/2012/05/17/viddy-tips-tricks/. [July 2012]
Google search tip
Google search tip: intext:[keyword] search operation. Google’s intext search operation forces your search term to be in the body of the website. For example, if you type:
intext:“San Antonio” intext:Alamo
it forces Google to show results with the phrase “San Antonio” and the word “Alamo.” You won’t get results that are missing either search term. [August 2012]
There are a plethora of databases that contain Deep Web content, that is, Web content that is normally inaccessible via general search engine queries. CompletePlanet is a “front door” to these Deep Web databases. Users may go to various topic areas, such as energy, agriculture, food or medicine, and find worthwhile sites that are not accessible through conventional search engines. [September 2012]
Law Technology News
This ALM website is part of law.com. This is a good source for news on legal technology and for legal issues arising from technology. Subtopics are: E-Discovery & Compliance; Litigation Support; Practice Management; Office Tech; Mobile Lawyer; Research & Libraries; and Tech Law. [November 2012]
Down for everyone or just me?
This real-time online website status checker tool lets you know whether a website you’re trying to access is down for everyone or just blocked for you. It is easy to use, just put in the web address in the field and click the “or just me?” link. [December 2012]